What to do?

My car took longer than usual being serviced, and traffic was absolutely horrendous, so I didn’t make any workbench progress on Saturday. Instead, I spent some time dicking around with scrap 1/2″ x 3″ red oak left over from the tray runners on the medium tool chest. About 20″ total of flat and square stock was just enough for the carcass of a tiny dovetailed box.


Shooting with a block plane on my counter. Not recommended!

When it comes to dovetailing in softwoods, as long as you can saw straight, fiber compression will do most of the work toward achieving perfect joints. In hardwoods like red oak, though, there is such a thing as too tight.  But if you go slow and apply some persuasion, everything can come together nicely.  And dovetailing in hardwoods is a great opportunity to determine if your dovetail saw needs resharpening (mine needed both sharpening and set, in fact).  Le sigh.


Meh, I’ve done worse.

On a related note, the bench chisels in the background are my spare set (made by WoodRiver).  They hold an edge well and are quite balanced, but the side lands are way too thick for tight dovetail work.  Not like my Narex chisels (which are still at my parents’).  As a result, the tail recesses are not as neat as I would have liked.  But the carcass is finished.


And sturdy as can be.

With the inside dimensions of only 3.75″ square, I would think it has potential as a keepsake box.  Or at least an adequate receptacle for collar stays and cuff links.

Stay tuned for the upcoming “Basic Projects” installment for this piece.  But first there will be more on the workbench later this week.



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